Anza-Borrego Desert Wildlife

Mammals - Reptiles - Bird - Insects


In 1933, Anza-Borrego was set aside as a state park, in part to preserve the habitat of the Peninsular bighorn sheep. Since then, their numbers have decreased, and spotting a bighorn has become a rare experience in California. We are fortunate that it is still possible to see a bighorn sheep in the wild during a visit to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Spotting bighorn sheep is difficult because they blend in so well with their backgrounds. Sometimes they will sit in one place for hours without moving, making themselves almost invisible. It takes a combination of patience, timing, and luck to find these elusive mammals. Where you can find them.

In addition to bighorn sheep there are deer, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, Jackrabbits, desert cottontails and many more animals. Here are a few picture of these animals.


Reptiles are probably the one animal group visitors most associate with desert habitats. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park protects the richest concentration of lizards and snakes in California. Over 50 different species can be found in Borrego's 600,000 acres. This very high diversity is probably due to the extreme variety of habitats found in our park. Elevation ranges from 300 feet above sea level to over 6,000 feet at Combs peak. With a wide variety of geologic terrain and vegetation cover, Anza-Borrego is an enormously complex ecosystem. More on Reptiles.






There are many species of birds in the park, Unofficial total number of species reported is 125. Here is are some of the birds that you may see.

Hawk and Ravin


Turkey Vulture


Insects & Spiders

You will find all kinds of insects in the Anza-Borrego desert, siders, stink bugs. bees, ants, and catterpillers. Here are a few pictures of the insects at work in the desert.

Stink Bug


Back to Overview of The Park



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